Mixed Messages From Sprint On EVDO Bandwidth
from the this-doesn't-quite-make-sense dept
Earlier this year, Sprint followed Verizon in tacking on a 5GB cap on its EVDO wireless broadband offering for computers (for either datacard or phone-as-modem users). Because of that, I find Sprint EVDO a lot less useful, and am actively looking for alternatives. Unfortunately, for now there aren’t many, though I hope that will change. Either way, I end up using Sprint a lot less, and would be a lot more open to competitors. One of the reasons I stuck with Sprint for so long was the unlimited nature of the EVDO. Even if I don’t use up 5GB, not worrying about reaching a limit used to be a huge benefit. Now, when I use EVDO, I feel like I need to carefully track what’s happening — since Sprint might cut off my service if my usage is deemed abusive.
Now, to make matters even more ridiculous, it appears that Sprint has signed a deal “valued at $500 million” to stream live football games over EVDO to its mobile phones. (Half a billion sounds like a big deal, but it doesn’t actually mean $500 million was paid out — it’s likely much of it involves trades of promotion and services.) Now, the tricky part is that the 5GB cap on EVDO does not count towards content viewed just on phones, so Sprint is sending a very mixed message. First Sprint says that there isn’t enough bandwidth on its network to support really unlimited usage for PC users, but then it’s also coming up with ways to increase the amount of bandwidth its customers are using on phones. Does that mean Sprint doesn’t care about PC users on its network — and datacard users will be further squeezed as Sprint prefers its phone customers to use up the wireless bandwidth? Shouldn’t Sprint focus on improving its network so that the bandwidth limits for PC users doesn’t get worse rather than buying into deals to increase the bandwidth burden?